Microsoft Malaysia launches ‘Innovate for Good’ youth programme
By Digital News Asia October 10, 2013
- Comes under Microsoft’s YouthSpark company-wide, global initiative that targets youth unemployment
- To bring together youth from around the world to use tech to make a difference in their communities
MICROSOFT Malaysia has launched its inaugural ‘Innovate for Good’ event, in partnership with Toronto-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) TakingITGlobal, that it said would enable youth to collaborate, inspire and support each other while using technology to make a difference in their communities.
‘Innovate for Good’ comes under the YouthSpark programme, which was launched last year by outgoing Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer in response to reports that there were 75 million unemployed youth around the world.
YouthSpark is a company-wide, global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth over three years.
Meanwhile, TakingITGlobal is an NGO which works on global issues by promoting awareness and engagement among youth.
Innovate for Good will bring together youth from around the world in local events and in a global online community to provide support for their ideas on making a difference, while also providing them with the tools and resources needed to bring their ideas to reality, Microsoft Malaysia said in a statement.
“Innovate for Good will provide entrepreneurship programmes and events in conjunction with local and international partners including government agencies and international entities such as TakingITGlobal, to facilitate opportunities for our youth,” said Microsoft Malaysia managing director Carlos Lacerda.
“Through this initiative, our youth will discover how others have used Microsoft technology and programs to do amazing things, and have access to the same Microsoft tools and resources to work together to create and seize new opportunities,” he added.
“Young Malaysian entrepreneurs will benefit from the learning and sharing opportunities under programmes that encourage creativity and innovation to create successful and sustainable businesses,” said Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary-General of Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, who launched the Innovate for Good programme on Oct 9, in conjunction with the upcoming 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2013) to be held in Kuala Lumpur from Oct 11-12.
At the Oct 9 launch, more than 140 young Malaysian innovators spent their time learning skills on how to present and pitch ideas, and hearing from leading social innovation and entrepreneurship experts, Microsoft Malaysia said.
The discussions generated during the event ranged from topics on education, environment, health, to women's empowerment and poverty alleviation, and also the creative solutions that are possible through technology innovations.
Among the speakers was John-Son Oei, the young founder of EPIC Homes, a social initiative that constructs modular, prefabricated homes for Malaysia's Orang Asli indigenous population.
Oei, a member of Innovate for Good and also a Microsoft YouthSpark Star, met fellow Malaysians and app developers, team DreamX, at an Innovate for Good event and together, they developed an online platform to collect, organise, and manage information on EPIC's volunteers, donations, indigenous homeowners, and other resources.
“The Government is committed to supporting entrepreneurs in starting up their businesses, particularly those with creative ideas and a strategic plan,” Malaysia’s Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin said in a statement issued earlier.
“We have a responsibility of nurturing and training young people but this role is not exclusively the Government’s and is a responsibility shared with the private sector and other key stakeholders.
“We are glad that Microsoft has been supporting entrepreneurs in the effort to develop human capital, specifically to assist in the development of IT skills through training opportunities and mentoring programmes,” he said.
Khairy will also be participating in the YouthSpark Innovators Conclave, an interactive panel session with an expected audience of 250, at GES on Oct 11. The panel, which will include Microsoft Corp senior director of Citizenship & Public Affairs Akhtar Badshah, will discuss nurturing young entrepreneurs and what it takes to be innovative in today’s competitive economy.
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